Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sly & the Family Stone Four-CD Anthology, Higher!, Set For Release On August 27th

The musical legacy of Sly & the Family Stone will be celebrated in style with the comprehensive four-CD box set, Higher!, which is scheduled for release on August 27th through Epic/Legacy, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.  The career-spanning retrospective features 77 tracks by the innovative soul/funk/rock band, 17 of which were previously unreleased.

Higher! was put together in celebration of Sly Stone’s 70th birthday, which was on March 15. The funk pioneer was the band’s mastermind and guiding light. His massive influence on music spans more than four decades and can be heard in numerous genres today, including R&B, pop, rock, hip hop, and alternative, among others.

The anthology tracks the evolution of the band’s groundbreaking sound, and it also shows how Sly’s outlook had drastically changed within a short period of time. He went from idealistic counterculture champion on Stand! (1969) to the disillusioned creator of the dark, cynical funk masterpiece There’s a Riot Goin’ On (1971).

In addition, the deluxe box set features a 104-page book, which includes a liner notes essay by Jeff Kaliss, author of I Want To take You Higher: The Life and Times of Sly & the Family Stone, the band’s only authorized biography; track-by-track annotations by original band members including Sly himself; rare and uncirculated photography; an illustrated timeline of the band's career; 45 rpm label and picture sleeve repros; vintage concert posters; and ticket stubs from Sly & The Family Stone concerts; and more.

The package also includes rare pre-Epic Records solo tracks by Sly during his tenure as A&R-producer-songwriter-staff musician at San Francisco's Autumn records, circa 1964-'65.

And in homage to the era of transistor radios, the package features rare mono masters of  the band’s signature hits, including “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again),” “Everyday People,” “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” “I Want to Take You Higher,” and “Sing a Simple Song.” The box set also features rare recordings of some of the band’s legendary live performances.

So there’s enough here to sate the appetite of even the most voracious Sly & the Family Stone fan, as well as funk aficionados and music lovers in general.

“Hey music lover
Music for the human race
I'm gonna add some funky bass”

Preorder Higher! at Amazon

Related blog entry: Review of Sly & the Family Stone's Stand!

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